Almost all trade-related organizations recognize the need to maintain accurate sales forecasts. However, a great many of them still use lengthy spreadsheets to keep track of forecasts. This article provides guidelines for using Dynamics 365 Sales to forecast and make it easier to make accurate forecasts in a rapidly changing environment.
Benefits of sales forecasting
Sales forecasting is an important job that needs to be done on time. An accurate current forecast makes it possible to allocate resources and change strategy, taking into account unforeseen circumstances. Sales Forecasting Dynamics 365 makes it easy to forecast sales using the knowledge of your sales team.
Start with a template - using ready-made templates, you can save time
- Forecasting with an organization chart is a way to combine forecast values in your organization's reporting structure.
- Product forecasting is the ability to base a forecast on products that are planned for sale.
- Territorial forecasting is an analysis of the geographic areas in which your company does business. To set up an area forecast, you set up territories in a hierarchy, assign territories to individuals, and assign accounts to territories.
- Use a descriptive title, remembering to include time frames and other forecast details
- Place the person's name at the top of the forecast hierarchy. It's easy to do - just select a feature type during forecast setup and watch a quick preview to make sure you made the right choice.
- Choose the right forecast time frame: With Dynamics 365 Sales, you can set up multiple forecasts with different time frames, which is convenient for different reporting periods, such as monthly or quarterly.
- Customize the forecast for your organization: Although the templates provide an end-to-end forecast, you can modify the forecast to make it work correctly.
Forecast categories are an important part of forecasts.
Deals are categorized according to the level of confidence of sellers about closing them. The categories "pipeline", "best option" and "confirmed" denote transactions with high, medium and low confidence levels, respectively.
Make your team accountable: The template designates a mandatory forecast as a custom column. This means that your managers and salespeople can present their own forecast results.
Iteration: Templates allow you to quickly create a new forecast based on the need to use different functions to tailor the forecast to the needs of your salespeople.
Tips for predicting sales during a crisis or unpredictable event:
- Encourage your sales team to update sales data more often: In turbulent times, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of a rapidly changing pipeline to be able to make optimal resource allocation decisions
- Make predictions often: Sales managers need to make predictions more often, as data can change quickly, forecasting will help identify problems faster.
- Don't be afraid to step back from your forecast for a while in order to focus on building relationships: Developing relationships now will help you plan later when the time is right and the conditions will become more favorable for forecasting sales.
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